omplete QPORIT: PRIVACY POLICY

Friday, April 10, 2009

 

PRIVACY POLICY


I have an excellent dentist.


My car has run perfectly since I got it.

It was my birthday recently.

I do not believe there is any justification whatsoever for getting an automated "Happy Birthday" from my dentist and two automated "Happy Birthdays" (yes 2! 1 online, the other, one of those really annoying pre-recorded phone calls) from my car dealer.

The only reason my dentist should have or use my birthdate is for medical reasons. Certainly not for marketing (or anti-marketing as in this case).

The only reason my car dealer should have my birthdate is to verify financial information when financing a car. Again, certainly not for marketing (or anti-marketing as in this case).

Now, one often signs a notice that one has received and "read" the privacy policy of some company (or doctor, hospital, etc) one is dealing with. Under the (unlikely!) assumption that using my birthday for some unprofessional reason was actually part of some agreement I signed, it would still be inappropriate. That highlights the fact that -- since the privacy policy is pretty much non-negotiable -- signing the "privacy policy" might give a company some cover. It gives the signer none.

Therefore:

1 -- Privacy policy should be uniform, and established by the government, not by companies -- or any holder of private information.

2 -- Great respect for private information should be expected and required by everyone handling personal information.

3 -- In particular, personal information should be used only for the purpose for which it was provided.

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